Archive for January, 2010
With all the coverage in the news about the devastation in Haiti, it’s hard to think about much else these days.Â And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I’ve found myself more and more thinking about Africa.Â Uganda, in particular.Â Remembering.Â Reflecting.Â Trying not to forget what I saw, what I experienced, what I learned.
A couple days ago, I had a dream about the children of Gulu.Â I dreamed I was back there, watching them dance and listening to them sing.Â In my heart, I ached to join them, to wrap my arms around them and laugh with them.Â But they didn’t remember me.Â They had moved on and I had been left behind.Â I desperately wanted to help, to be involved with them, to be part of their daily lives, but I was an outsider and was not welcomed in.
That dream has stirred my heart to wonder: where do I fit in it all?Â How do I keep my heart tender and sensitive to the great needs, the dire situations they face daily, while still focusing on my own family and the ministries God has called me to here in the states?Â What does God want me to do with Uganda?
I don’t know the answers to those questions.Â I’m still searching.Â And I know that in time, those answers will come.Â God will reveal His plan to me when the time is right, and when my heart is ready.Â But until then, I will do what I can to remember the people of Gulu, the Acholi who have suffered so much.
I will tell others to raise awareness.Â (please check out this link – sent by my brother – that provides good information and disturbing photographs of the very real situation faced daily by the Acholi: http://halsey.cofc.edu/exhibitions/2010/01_africa/01_genocide_HM.php)
I will pray.
I will give.
And hopefully someday soon, I will return.
Well, it’s that time again.Â The calendar tells me it’s a brand-new year.Â And although I sit here, finding it nearly impossible to believe that another 365 days have come and gone, I know it’s true.Â Each year, January 1 finds me optimistic: a whole calendar year spread out before me, 365 days filled with possibilities: adventures, new friends, times of fun and celebration…all waiting to be lived.
Which begs the question:Â How WILL I live those days? Will I treasure each day, fulfilling the promise each new dawn brings?Â Will I capture the opportunities that come my way, recognizing the divine appointments God provides me?Â Or will I waste my time with empty pursuits, meaningless activity, or futile thinking?Â Will I face each day looking forward with a sense of optimism and anticipation, or will I spend more time looking back, longing to recapture once was and can never be again?
This year, as I reflect on that question, I realize it may be time for a change.Â So, with that in mind, this year is the year of the “Re-Solutions”: aÂ year to re-focus, re-new, re-dedicate, and re-fresh.
Last year began with our family undergoing a tremendous challenge.Â And throughout those months of uncertainty and waiting, it was easy to focus on each other.Â We needed each other.Â We had no idea what the outcome would be, so we clung tightly together out of necessity.Â But now that life has returned to a sense of “normalcy”, I’ve found myself being distracted from making my family the focus of my attention.Â So this year, I will re-focus my energy and time on my family: on carving out time daily for my children and husband to have my undivided attention, to talk together, to build into one another’s lives through shared activities and interests.Â I will re-focus my energy on deepening the love – and friendship – that Matt and I share, and commit myself to ensuring that our marriage continues to grow stronger through the challenges we face.
Over the past year, I have witnessed the beauty of friendship.Â And I realized, more than once, how blessed I am to have such wonderful friends.Â This year, I will re-new friendships…both by embracing and welcoming new friends into my life, and by strengthening the bonds I share with tried-and-true friends.Â Whether it’s sharing a meal, playing games, shopping, scrapping, or simply talking on the phone, I will take the opportunity to reach out to those who are part of my world and become a part of theirs.
Over the past months, I’ve definitely become a victim to bad habits once again.Â Those disciplines that once were such an important part of my daily routine have fallen by the wayside.Â So this year, I will re-dedicate myself to those things that make me healthier: physically, mentally, and spiritually.Â I will commit to regular Bible study both individually and as part of a community.Â I will make going to the gym regularly a priority, and will rededicate myself to truly healthy South-Beach eating habits once again.Â I will continue to challenge myself to grow professionally, and will be open to God’s leading, whatever the direction may be.
As we exit 2009 and enter 2010, I can feel a need for refreshing in my spirit.Â Throughout the past year, I have found myself more than once in a dark, gloomy place.Â The new year provides me with an opportunity for “in-the-light” living.Â And while I still struggle with those familiar temptations, I know that the victory is already mine…and that hope can give me the strength and the courage to live looking forward.Â Throughout 2010, I will find ways to refresh my spirit, through times of reflection, recreation, and rest.
May this year be a year of re-discovering all that God has in store for us!
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.